I'm sad today.
One of my colleagues at the University died suddenly on Sunday. His funeral is in three quarters of an hour time. I was going to go. I have been humming and haaing all morning. But, its 35 degrees outside, and I'd have to take Jamie, who's just gone down for his afternoon sleep. I just don't think that it'll work. It's too hot and he'll play up once we get there. I'd rather let them have a peaceful service.
So, this is my way of saying goodbye. Not that any of you probably knew him. Malcolm was the senior consultant in the HR team I managed at the Uni. He was my right hand man. I listened to what he had to say. He had years of experience in HR and was so wise. He was unflappable. He had a wicked sense of humour. But more than that, he was just one of those special people that you always have time for. That you make time for. I don't think he ever knew how much he helped me in a very difficult time. So, Malcolm, thank you mate.
Malcolm was diagnosed with skin cancer, mid last year. But everyone thought he was doing OK. What a cruel disease cancer is. That's the second colleague who has died of melanoma. I worry about it. Being a red head with fair skin. We are so at risk, with our harsh Australian sun. I see all these kids out there, at the beach, at the cricket, sunbaking. And I feel like shaking them all. Put a hat on! Put a shirt on! Cover up! Sit in the shade! All the things my Mum used to say to me when I was younger. But it wasn't real to me then. Like it isn't real to these kids. It wasn't real to me until Ross, the other colleague, died of skin cancer 10 years ago. He was only in his 30s. He left behind a young wife and two little sons. His shoulder hurt one day. He went and saw a physio after it didn't get better. That was the first sign. They found it in his bones. I didn't know at the time that it was his second fight with the disease. His earlier bought had been 6 years previous. Ross was the first person I knew really well who died of cancer. It hit home hard.
So, today I'm sad. And in little over half an hour I'll stop what I'm doing and say a prayer for my mate. And the dog will wonder why I'm crying.